You Can’t Do That!

My wife wants a closet in the play room.

Apparently, the shelves and containers we already have are not enough and so she wants a closet to store the myriad toys that our kids never play with.

My wife wants a closet, so my wife is getting a closet. My parents and grandma paid for the materials and I’m building it.

The response I heard from just about everyone I told about my new closet-building project was this:


You’re building a closet?

On your own?


Or something along those lines.

It was unanimous. I can’t do it. I do not have the skills, experience or ability necessary to successfully complete such a project.

I can’t do it.

…..But my wife wants one.

So I’m doing it, regardless of the inevitable failure which is rapidly heading my way.

A Closet-Sized Illustration

I was thinking about this today and wondering how it relates to us on a spiritual level, particularly at the start of a new year.

I realized that my closet is a picture of something that we all do way too often.

My wife wants a closet and so I’m building her one.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve never done anything like this before, have no clue what I’m doing and am as much use on a construction site as a Styrofoam sledgehammer, my wife asked and so I’m doing it.

If it had been almost anyone else asking, I would have said, “No way, no day!” but because it was my wife asking, the answer had to be, “YES!”

I wonder how many times God asks us to do something and we look at it and decide that we don’t have the skills, abilities and experience necessary and simply tell him, “No.”

If God had been the one asking me to build a closet, would I have said yes?

Would I?

I Say NO To God

Sitting here now, it’s easy for me to say that I would have told him yes on the condition that he helped but in reality, my experience is that I rarely say yes when God asks me to do something that’s out of my comfort zone.

Does that seem as ridiculous to you as it does to me?

My wife asked me to do something I’m completely unqualified to do and I immediately said yes but when God, who has the ability to give me what I need to complete a task and knows whether or not I’m the right man for the job asks, I say no because I’m afraid I’ll fail.

Isn’t that a little mixed up?

Why do I listen to the voice saying, “You can’t do that!” so readily when God comes calling but ignore it when it’s someone else asking?

I think this year I need to stop telling God, “I can’t do that!” and listen to the creator of the universe telling me “You CAN do that… with my help.”

How about you?

About PeterP

I am a blogger, author, stay at home dad, speaker, web hosting trainer and geek (I was so excited to get an iPad that I actually made up a song and dance about it). I am English by birth, but currently live in California with my wife and our three children. I ran a web hosting business for nine years and found that many, if not most of my clients had never learned how to use any of the functions associated with hosting so I wrote a book to try and teach just those skills. I must admit to having fallen in love with WordPress (possibly a little TOO much) and I honestly find it hard to understand why anyone would use anything different to build a site! WordPress is wonderful! My passion is to help others achieve their goals with their websites/blogs. I believe that, with a little help, anyone can have an awesome site.

33 thoughts on “You Can’t Do That!”

  1. Not wishing to detract from your excellent point, but what mean friends you’ve got – I believe you can do it! It’s looking great so far.

    To go back to the point you wanted to make – what a great resolution for the year. Let’s all commit to daring to try the things God asks us to, but let’s also commit to encouraging those around us who want to do the same, not laugh at them because they’ve never done it before.

    1. PeterP says:

      When you say I must have ‘mean friends’, you do realise you’re talking about Dad, right?

      Thanks, Jen! Happy New Year

      1. Father Stephen says:

        Yep. OK. I was wrong. You can do the 2b4 bit. I’m coming over on 3 March; should I bring some tools to finish the job?

        1. PeterP says:

          No, don’t bring any tools. All you have to do is the tape-and-mud and we have all the stuff you need for that!

          1. Father Stephen says:

            Well done. You should post an update photo.

          2. PeterP says:

            What I said was that it would be ready for you to do tape and mud on March 3rd.

            I didn’t say I’d done any more yet! 😉

            Speaking of update photo’s, how’s your conservatory looking? The last photos I saw were of trenches, I think

          3. Hmm… perhaps I was wrong. If you think you can build a closet using tape and mud, I think you’re living in the wrong century! :o)
            Well done anyway!

          4. PeterP says:

            No, I don’t think I can build a closet using just tape and mud…. that’s why I told Dad he was going to do it!

        2. PS this programme doesn’t like me giving my smileys noses… :s

  2. Dennis says:

    Thank you for the great post.

    I am probably telling on myself but I wonder how many of us are willing to say yes when a boss asks us to do something, thinking of holding on to a paycheck. Yet we (I) would say no to God knowing he will not hand out pink slips.

    1. PeterP says:

      Oh absolutely!

      Who do we say yes to the least, our boss, our spouse, or our God?

      I often hear people challenging others with this question:

      Let’s say you get up late one morning. If you do your morning devotionals and spend some time in prayer, you’re going to be late for work.

      What do you do?

      In reality, almost all of us skip time with God to get to work on time.

      I think God understands that but really, which is more important, time with God or being on time for work?

      I find that to be a challenging question!

  3. Good post to start the new year, Peter. Only thing I would add is that when your wife wants a closet and when God wants you to do something, it doesn’t necessarily mean doing it yourself or by yourself. If you know someone who builds closets it may make more sense to ask them to help or do the entire project. Similarly, when God asks us to do something it may make more sense to ask for help or delegate it entirely to someone else. The most important thing, though is saying yes.

    1. PeterP says:

      You’re right, Paul.

      Unfortunately I didn’t have anyone I could call on for help on this one, but we do need to watch that we don’t try to ‘go it alone’ all the time!

  4. katdish says:

    Excellent observations, Peter. God will equip us with what we need for Him. And good luck on the closet project.

  5. Jason says:

    Excellent analogy, Peter. God won’t leave us hanging out to dry on what He tells us to do for Him.

  6. jasonS says:

    Go for it, Peter. I’m not qualified to do stuff like that, but I have done them plenty of times. Actually when I started reading, I began to think what I would do, probably consult a book, find an online tutorial, and/or ask for help from someone more knowledgeable. Just because we’ve never done it before, doesn’t mean we can’t. It’s just outside our limited experiences–excellent post.

    One additional thought, how about when we tell God HE can’t do something? That’s pretty silly too, but I do it all the time.

    1. PeterP says:

      I’m not qualified to do it by dint of the fact that I have to have a diagram to show me which end of the hammer to hold!

      I looked the project up online and think I’ve got it right…. time will tell!

  7. kelybreez says:

    Great thoughts. God supplies.

    Still don’t think I could build a closet though!

    1. PeterP says:

      Sure you could! Maybe.

  8. Candy says:

    I can only imagine the prayer that went into that closet. I have faith in you, Peter. You have no idea what closets mean to us women. Your act of blind generosity will be greatly appreciated. You win Husband of the Year.

    God told me to tell you “Measure twice, cut once.”

    1. PeterP says:

      Thanks, Candy.

      Could you tell my wife about the ‘Husband of the Year’ thing?

      oh, and God’s right!

  9. Gary says:

    Great post! If God wants you to do it, then He will help you figure out a way!

  10. When I read this post, I cannot help but think of the time when Moses spoke to the burning bush. While we all have visions of it being a cool conversation between a bearded guy who looks like Charleton Heston and an enflamed plant, the fact is that it was an argument. It was God, repeatedly saying “Moses, I want you to do this” and Moses saying “No.”
    What kills the idealized version of this story is that it ends with God being furious with Moses for saying “No, I can’t do that.” I know the story has a nice ending and all, but the thought of ever being the subject of a verse like Exodus 4:14 “And God’s anger burned against Moses” is pretty terrifying.

  11. By the way, a speaker once pointed out that Moses “I can’t do that” argument actually reflects pride masked as humility.

  12. Amy Sorrells says:

    My husband, my dad and I built a closet in December for our son, so I absolutely LOVED this post! Now, granted, my dad is veritable Norm Abram and did the planning and stuff to make sure we didn’t violate any building or fire or disaster codes. But my husband and I did most of the mudding and painting, and for most of four weeks, the room was a mess. But in the end, the mess was worth it. Because it made my son so very happy to have his very own room.

    Oh, to have the desire to make our God happy!

    Thank you for this precious post!

  13. Helen says:

    Yeah, I wouldn’t know where to begin.
    I once asked hubs to put up an extra rod in the closet (there was plenty of room). The rod pulled away from the wall within a week. I won’t be asking him to make any closets, but I love that he went out of his comfort zone and tried for my sake.
    You look like you are off to a great start!

  14. Great stuff here, Peter.

    You are a good man to undertake the project. Good luck! Would love to see some after shots!

    1. PeterP says:

      … if there ever is an ‘after’ 🙂

  15. Thanks for the post, and I’m sure you can build that closet (if you already haven’t).

    It certainly is hard to say “Yes” when there’s every “logical” reason to say no. (:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *